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Kevin

Retirement at 62 w/Child at Home Who Has Disabilities

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Hello Devin,

Thanks for all of your informative SS videos on YouTube. I was very intrigued by one of your videos entitled "The BEST Age to File for Social Security" and I would like to gather a bit more information before making a final decision. As background for my situation, I have a disabled son at home, age 27. He has already qualified for SSI and SSDI and has been receiving benefits for some time now.

Here's how I understood the facts and concepts as described in the section of your video "When you Should File Early", reason number 2 (You have a minor or disabled children).

  • Filing at age 62 will reduce my benefit to approximately 70% of my full retirement age benefit and would also limit my earning potential since there are limits on total income (~$17k). Is "total" income counted as my personal income alone or the collective income of all wage earners in my household? I think I know the answer to this one but just wanted to confirm that this limit is a limit for my personal income alone.
  • If I take early benefits at 70% will I receive 100% at full retirement age or will I always be limited to 70%?
  • I understood that I would need to file first so my spouse (and son) could benefit from my work record.
  • My 27 yr old son is already receiving SS and SSDI benefits. As he is disabled, would he be entitled to additional child benefits under my early retirement benefits?
  • My spouse works part-time but also takes care of my son at home. I am currently working full time from home so I also take care of him as well, between us we share the duties 24/7/365. If my wife is working part-time would she still be eligible for spousal benefits?
  • What is the rule, test or guideline for "caring for your child"? My 27 year disabled old son functions around the age of a 12 year old, however he is NOT confined to a wheelchair or dependent on any life supporting devices. Would the fact that he is already qualified and receiving SSDI plus the fact that he is living at home fulfill the test to claim that we are "caring" for our child?
  • If my disabled son were to move out into a "group" home or other living situation outside of our home, I would need to report that change of living situation event to SS. My question is, would my son living outside the home disqualify us from receiving the spousal (and child) benefit(s)? If yes, could I opt to stop benefits and would the earning limits be removed? Or would my family benefits be reduced to my personal benefit with the earning limit still applied?
  • On my Social Security statement I see where there is a monthly family benefit limit. The benefits to me and my spouse could be up to 180% of my full retirement age benefit, how is the total benefit amount calculated? I see on my statement where there is a "child benefit", a "spouse benefit who is caring for our child" and my "personal benefit". Assuming I add all three of those together I am exceeding the total family benefits monthly limit noted on my statement. In that case I assume I would only be eligible for the amount of the monthly family benefit limit?
  • Assuming I would benefit by early retirement given the scenario above, there is no way I could ever catch up (benefit wise) by delaying to my full retirement age. By not retiring early I would be leaving money on the table.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to comment on my situation, your input is greatly valued!

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On 11/10/2018 at 11:06 AM, Kevin said:

Hello Devin,

Thanks for all of your informative SS videos on YouTube. I was very intrigued by one of your videos entitled "The BEST Age to File for Social Security" and I would like to gather a bit more information before making a final decision. As background for my situation, I have a disabled son at home, age 27. He has already qualified for SSI and SSDI and has been receiving benefits for some time now.

Here's how I understood the facts and concepts as described in the section of your video "When you Should File Early", reason number 2 (You have a minor or disabled children).

  • Filing at age 62 will reduce my benefit to approximately 70% of my full retirement age benefit and would also limit my earning potential since there are limits on total income (~$17k). Is "total" income counted as my personal income alone or the collective income of all wage earners in my household? I think I know the answer to this one but just wanted to confirm that this limit is a limit for my personal income alone.

The earnings test is on an individual basis. One note on this...If you have a spouse or child receiving benefits on your work record, and you exceed the limit, they will be subject to the income limit as well. 

  • If I take early benefits at 70% will I receive 100% at full retirement age or will I always be limited to 70%?

If you file early, you'll be limited to that amount into the future.

  • I understood that I would need to file first so my spouse (and son) could benefit from my work record.

Yes, that's one of the triggers for these "Auxiliary Benefits" to be paid. If you stop your benefit for any reason, there's will stop as well. 

  • My 27 yr old son is already receiving SS and SSDI benefits. As he is disabled, would he be entitled to additional child benefits under my early retirement benefits?

Possibly. Once you file for benefit the benefits paid to auxiliaries will increase if your benefit amount is high enough. 

  • My spouse works part-time but also takes care of my son at home. I am currently working full time from home so I also take care of him as well, between us we share the duties 24/7/365. If my wife is working part-time would she still be eligible for spousal benefits?

As long as she doesn't exceed the income limit, there shouldn't be a problem. 

  • What is the rule, test or guideline for "caring for your child"? My 27 year disabled old son functions around the age of a 12 year old, however he is NOT confined to a wheelchair or dependent on any life supporting devices. Would the fact that he is already qualified and receiving SSDI plus the fact that he is living at home fulfill the test to claim that we are "caring" for our child?

This is beyond my area of expertise. Consult with a family law attorney. 

  • If my disabled son were to move out into a "group" home or other living situation outside of our home, I would need to report that change of living situation event to SS. My question is, would my son living outside the home disqualify us from receiving the spousal (and child) benefit(s)? If yes, could I opt to stop benefits and would the earning limits be removed? Or would my family benefits be reduced to my personal benefit with the earning limit still applied?

Same response as above.

  • On my Social Security statement I see where there is a monthly family benefit limit. The benefits to me and my spouse could be up to 180% of my full retirement age benefit, how is the total benefit amount calculated? I see on my statement where there is a "child benefit", a "spouse benefit who is caring for our child" and my "personal benefit". Assuming I add all three of those together I am exceeding the total family benefits monthly limit noted on my statement. In that case I assume I would only be eligible for the amount of the monthly family benefit limit?

Check out this video on how to calculated the family benefit maximum. 

  • Assuming I would benefit by early retirement given the scenario above, there is no way I could ever catch up (benefit wise) by delaying to my full retirement age. By not retiring early I would be leaving money on the table.

Planning your filing strategy is even more important when you have eligible children at home. You need to get someone to help you who understands these numbers and will work for an hourly basis. 

Thank you in advance for taking the time to comment on my situation, your input is greatly valued!

 

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